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“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” - Psalm 84:11

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and he helps me, My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” - Psalm 28:7

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows from the evil one.” - Ephesians 6:16

I was getting ready for church the other day, waiting with my bible open on my lap. I have this bible that has specific scriptures written in the side margins that are emphasized. For some reason, God brought my attention to Psalm 84:11.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

I felt the Lord speaking into my heart about self imposed shields. These shields can be created to avoid something and also in anticipation of or possibly even projecting a negative experience. Basically, controlling situations. I felt the Lord sharing with me that our self created shields block everything out. We create shields to self protect and when we choose to do that, we block out the favor and opportunity as well. Keep in mind that we are the ones blocking it out, not God. Our shields are similar to a safe. Nothing goes in and nothing comes out. It is lifeless. We can shield ourselves in areas of our life, like relationships, finances, etc. Any area that we protect on our own strength, blocks the blessing and defense that God so graciously wants to shower on us.

In the scripture in Psalm 84, the sun provides energy, life, and power. The shield provides protection and reflection. Our limited understanding does not know when we need to be shielded and when we must bask in the sun to get the energy that we need or even provide those to us simultaneously. 

On the other hand, our shield from the armor of God is our faith and it says in Ephesians that it blocks EVERY arrow that the enemy throws our way. That is a 100% guarantee. Trusting that He will do what he says to bless and defend.

 A safe as a shield can be effective but it provides no air circulation, no light and no growth. We would eventually die in that kind of environment, relying on the self for everything. There is an end to the energy that we can exert on our own.

We can also create a shield with our busy life. We can get wrapped up in what we are doing and shut out the very thing we are actually supposed to do. Our self imposed shields are effective but not life giving.

Charles Spurgeon once said that “There are thousands of mercies that we do not enjoy, not because they are withheld, but because we do not take them.” By creating our own solutions, we have distracted ourselves from the blessings and defense that He had planned to give us.

In Psalm 91:1-2, it says

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;

My God, in Him I will trust.”

Instead of creating our own shields, we can dwell and abide in the One that knows our every need and meets them perfectly. Spending time with Him and trusting Him with all the areas that we desperately want to hold onto.

I think I have created my own shields for a good part of my life, avoiding hurt at times or strategically coming up with a plan to solve a problem that seems logical and good. But what God has revealed to me, is that I have taken on the role of the Savior when I do those things and He wants to give good things to me and you. By creating our own shields or solving problems in our own strength, there is no room for Him to surprise us with His faithfulness and creativity to be good to us in only the way that He can. He is a gentle God, he does not force himself on us. By revealing this wisdom to me, He wanted me to recognize the path I could choose instead that includes Him. Allowing Him to shield me on all sides and shower me with sun from above.

I pray that we all allow God to be our sun and shield in new ways. Paying attention to His faithfulness and how He shows up for us in ways we never would expect. He is our refuge and our fortress; Our God, in Him we will trust.

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